With Christmas fast approaching the Hidden Gardens team have been searching for the perfect Christmas gift for gardeners. We have 10 ideas that can fit any budget and level of gardening experience.
1. Books are always a great idea, especially during the cold winter months. Your garden lover can curl up on the sofa with a good book and start planning their creations. We recently chatted to Amanda, who will be showcasing her garden for the first time at Hidden Gardens this spring and asked her which books she would recommend. Her favourite gardening beginner book was Gardening Through the Year by Ian Spence, this was incredibly helpful when she first started. It helped her identify plants that are already in the garden, as well as how to plan filling up the beds so they look good every day of the year.
She recommends for the really geeky gardener Latin for Gardeners by Lorraine Harrison.
2. A real treat for gardeners and a great way of acquiring hands on experience in a relaxed and friendly environment, is attending a gardening workshop. Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants based in Whitchurch, Hampshire, an hour’s drive from Grayshott, run a series of workshops and talks throughout the year. Karen recommends the Spring Propagation workshop for beginners, which at £75 is a lovely morning out, spent with like-minded people. Combine it with a visit to the local Watership Down Inn for lunch and you’ve created a thoroughly enjoyable day out.
3. Or how about a talk from an expert? If your budget doesn't stretch to a Hardy's Cottage Plants workshop, a great alternative is a professional talk. Rosy Hardy does a great selection of talks at the nursery for just £20, covering perennials throughout the seasons. There really is something to appeal to everyone!
4. If you are happy to travel further afield, Vanessa suggested the Beth Chatto Gardens near Colchester which are a wonderful find. Beth was an award winning horticulturalist and transformed her garden in the 1960s by using plants that thrived in different conditions, focusing on the right plant in the right place. The garden is both inspirational and informal, so feast your eyes on the gravel, water, reservoir, scree and woodland gardens. Gift vouchers can also be purchased, which can go towards plants in the nursery shop or a workshop
5. The 2 day workshop on Border Design at Beth Chatto Gardens, sounds interesting and will give you the skills to create or refresh your borders at home. The workshop explores sun and shade loving plants, considers seasonal interest, as well as sustainability and biodiversity.
6. Glorious Flower Shows Having worked at the RHS garden shows, Jane recommends tickets to either the RHS Chelsea or Hampton Court Flower Shows. Showcasing amazing garden designs, fabulous floral displays and exclusive shopping, you will certainly be inspired.
7. More RHS Gardens to Delight Liz has recommended RHS Wisley Gardens, which is just a 30 minute drive from Grayshott. Why not get tickets to visit the gorgeous gardens and combine with an afternoon cream tea for two in their café, or buy a gift voucher which can be used in their shop. There are RHS gardens across the country, so wherever your garden-lover lives we're sure you'll find the perfect destination. You can find all the locations on their website.
8. Grow your own Gift Another great gift idea for your green-fingered friend or family member is to buy a gift voucher from a seed company. Anne loves Chiltern Seeds and likes the beautifully wrapped seed collections gift packs, especially their cutting collections. Alternatively they offer vouchers which range from £5 to £50.
9. Another Inspiring Garden to Visit If you feel a visit to a garden a bit farther afield would be perfect, Lynn suggests a day out to Great Dixter house and gardens, near Rye, East Sussex. With 19 different garden areas, such as the Orchard, Sunken Garden, the long border and the Cat Garden to name a few, you are bound to be inspired. Vouchers are also available.
10. What about a planting workshop? Great Dixter also offers workshops and one that has been recommended is planting in a mixed border. This workshop focuses on creating a long season border using structural plants, under-planting and inter-planting of bulbs, as well as advice on planting a selection of other plants. It makes for a great day out.
We hope you've been inspired with our Christmas gift ideas. We would love more people to experience our gardening inspiration and advice, so please sign up to our newsletter.